Iraqi Freedom: winners, losers and a lesson
In only 21 days, the most brilliantly conceived and executed war plan in the annals of warfare decimated the forces of Saddam Hussein.
The winners: First, the long-suffering people of Iraq, closely followed by the coalition of 49 nations led by President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
President George W. Bush now joins Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the pantheon world leaders who have waged war against communism or fascism and won.
Prime Minister Blair, rather than his French, German and Russian counterparts, emerges as the leader of the “new” Europe. Britain becomes the towering presence in the “new” NATO and the European Union.
Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, wins over a moss-backed minority of Pentagon brass still trying to re-fight World War II, Korea and Vietnam – only better.
The American Dream, as epitomized by General Tommy Franks, who rose from buck private to commissioned officer at Ft. Sill and who had to “bootstrap” for college degrees while on active duty. Queen Elizabeth II should confer an honorary knighthood on the Wynnewood, Oklahoma-born Caesar of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Army, Navy, CIA special operations and Army airborne forces performed brilliantly in a major setback for those who look down their conventional warfare noses at paratroopers and special operations.
Fox News Channel beat the socks off CNN in providing comprehensive, “fair and balanced,” cable and satellite news coverage.
The losers: Once again, the UN proved incapable of concerted action to disarm a maniacal leader of his weapons of mass destruction. Ironically, Saddam’s lasting legacy will be how he, with the help of France, Germany and France, exposed the United Nations for the collective security failure it is -- and always was.
The Democrat Left, led by House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, defecated in its own mess kit. Only pro-war Democrat presidential hopefuls: Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman and John Edwards emerge with any hope.
The Hollywood Left and the University Left have Quiche Lorraine all over their faces. They should be strapped into theater seats and forced to watch videos of the Iraqi people celebrating their liberation.
Pope John Paul II. If ever a liberation effort met the tests of a Just War as established by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, Operation Iraqi Freedom met those tests. Unfortunately, Pope John Paul II, who was so keen to rid his White, Roman Catholic brethren in Poland of the brutality of Soviet rule, took a pass when it came to helping the brown-skinned Muslims of Iraq be rid of the brutality of Saddam Hussein.
The Pope’s refusal lend his moral authority to rid the world of Saddam Hussein is reminiscent of the failure of Pope Puis the 12th to condemn Hitler’s genocide against the Jews of Europe. A Pope who began with such promise may be only remembered for his failure to support a Just War and for his failure to deal effectively with internal financial corruption and the pedophile priests.
The New York Times, the BBC, Al Jezzera-TV and National Public Radio which, despite stunning visual evidence to the contrary, continued to portray the U.S./U.K.-led Coalition as an inept and losing cause. Peter Arnett loses for exposing his long-standing, anti-U.S. bias.
With the exception of Tom Brokaw’s NBC-TV news, the other broadcast news shows lost viewers with the nay-saying CBS-TV and ABC-TV in a tight race for dead last.
CNN’s retired military commentator and Clinton protégé, General Wesley Clark, and MSNBC’s Clinton-protégé, Lt. General Barry McCaffrey, looked politically opportunistic. Meanwhile, Fox News Channel’s retired military experts, such as Lt. General Thomas McInery, were both brilliant and prescient.
Secretary of State, Colin Powell, whose well-meaning, but failed, attempt for another, time-consuming, UN resolution frittered away our most favorable weather conditions.
The lesson: Now, both the Axis of Evil and the Axis of Weasels should understand: Don’t mess with the Lone Ranger.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – novels about terrorist attacks on Colorado’s water supply and on the Panama Canal, respectively.